Aquatic invasive alien species - top issues for their management. IFI/EIFAAC conference "Freshwater Invasives - Networking for Strategy", Galway, Ireland, 9-11 April 2013.
In November 2014, the European Union (Member Organization) (EU) published a new Regulation to address invasive alien species (IAS) and protect biodiversity. This Regulation entered into force across the EU in January 2015. Its aim is to "prevent the introduction of, control or eradicate alien species which threaten ecosystems, habitats or species". In an effort to provide focus to the Regulation prior to its publishing and to identify the major issues relating to IAS in Europe (28 countries of the EU and other European countries), the views of invasive species experts from around the world were sought. These were consolidated at an international conference (Freshwater Invasives - Networking for Strategy [FINS]) that was held in Ireland in April 2013. A major outcome from this meeting of experts was the production of the "Top 20" IAS issues that relate primarily to freshwater habitats but are also directly relevant to marine and terrestrial ecosystems. This list will support policy-makers throughout the EU as preparations are made to implement this important piece of legislation. A further outcome from the conference was the formation of an expert IAS advisory group to support EIFAAC in its work on invasive species.